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China, Italy step up food safety cooperation


11:06, April 30, 2013

MILAN, Italy, April 29 (Xinhua) -- China and Italy on Monday pinpointed major cooperation to improve food safety.

In a keynote speech at the "China-Italy food safety forum," Jiang Fan , Deputy Director General of China's Ministry of Commerce said that the trade between Italy and China in agricultural food products had been growing steadily over the past few years.

The forum, held in Italy's business capital Milan, attracted around 100 officials and companies from the two countries.

Jiang said China is attaching increasing importance to food supervision and related standards.

Europe and China are two major trading partners in agriculture. China exported to Europe 7.5 billion U.S. dollars worth of agricultural food products last year, representing 29 percent of China's overall agricultural food exports.

Italy, meanwhile, is the largest exporter of chocolate to China with a market share of 40.3 percent, and the second largest exporter of pasta, with a share of 18.8 percent, according to local estimates. Olive oil, wine, coffee and cheese are also increasingly appreciated in China.

"There is growing attention in China towards food quality and safety, which opens new doors for taking this dialogue further," the Economic Counselor of Italian Embassy in Beijing Livio Spadavecchia said.

He said communication played a fundamental role in promoting and sharing the best practices, both at the institutional and the private levels.

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